Saturday, August 8, 2009

Pet Vitamins Poisoning Alert!

My humans received this alert in an e-mail and I thought it would be furry important to share with my furriends. Please pass this along to all the pups woo know, especially if they might be taking "Pet-Tabs"!


Robert Jay Russell, Ph.D.,
Coton de Tulear Club of America President,
(607) 693-2828


I cannot emphasize enough the extreme danger these multivitamins
represent. Quixotically, they are not being recalled and the FDA has
taken no notice of the results of testing published by

This from the ConsumerLab's paid subscription web site:

Pet-Tabs Complete Daily for Dogs was contaminated with 6.45 mcg of lead
per tablet. This is several times higher than the amount of lead (1.41
mcg) found to be in this product in 2007. Contaminations
levels for dogs are not well defined, but FDA notes that children should
not be exposed to more than 6 mcg of lead per day and, as noted above,
California requires warning labels on supplements for human use that
contain over 0.5 mcg of lead per day.
Dr. Russell continues:
Pet-Tabs are perhaps the most widely sold dog and cat vitamin
supplement. We've used them (albeit not for many years). Pet-Tabs are
sold by PetsMart, Doctors Foster and Smith, and virtually every pet
shop, and on-line pet store in the nation. Pet-Tabs are made by the
giant Pfizer Pharmaceutical Corporation, one of America's leading
opponents of health care reform and industry inspection and regulation.
Pet-Tabs are sold under another corporate name: "Virbac" << >>
ConsumerLab tests mostly human products. Sadly, this report and the
previous years' report confirming lead contamination in Pfizer/Virbac
Pet-Tab supplements calls into serious question the safety and efficacy
of these giant corporations' entire product lines.
ConsumerLab tests mostly human products. There is no other information
(such as why or how this supposed animal health care product has been
laced with toxic levels of lead for years).

Lead can be absorbed through the skin or, in the case of these
supplements, ingested and absorbed. Clinical signs can be
gastrointestinal and/or neurological. Many dogs or cats who are
chronically ill, have upset stomachs, anorexia (food avoiders), blood
disorders, kidney disorders (degeneration of the glomeruli and tubules),
immunological problems, reproductive problems, or are suffering abnormal
behavioral signs could have suffered chronic, catastrophic lead
poisoning through supplements.

Before this revelation of supplement poisoning, the most common known
cause of lead poisoning in people and dogs was contact with lead based
paint or old car batteries. Other common causes of lead poisoning
include ingestion of lead shot (fatal to many wild birds and sometimes
served up in food that is hunted) and handling lead painted toys and
ceramic ware. During the past 6,000 years humans have mined and
redistributed lead on the planet to the extent that each of us has
approximately 1,000 times the lead in our system (as measured in our
bones) than prehistoric North American Indians.

Puppies absorb lead more readily than adults and are at greatest
immediate risk for signs of lead poisoning, but lead poisoning can prove
debilitating, even fatal for mature pets as well.

If your dog suffers from the diffuse signs of lead poisoning or if your
dog or cat have been exposed to Pet-Tabs, the CTCA recommends you have
its blood tested for lead concentration. Children in the household
should also be tested should your pet prove contaminated.

I would avoid all vitamin and mineral supplement products sold under
labels by either Pfizer or Virbac. These include labels such as
"Pet-Tinic," and "Lixotinic," and "Liqui-Tinic," which are generally
sold for large animals.
Save any bottles of these products in a sealed Zip Loc bag. Label the
bag well, stating "DO NOT USE - POISON!" You may need a sample of this
product should your dog or cat become symptomatic. You will need to save
the original packaging and product should Pfizer/Virbac be subject to a
Class Action suit.
Veterinarians normally do not first associate gastrointestinal,
immunological or even neurological signs with lead poisoning. Given
America's current largely untested, unregulated food, supplement, and
pharmaceutical supply, perhaps they should.

Should your vet need additional information about lead toxicity, its
diagnosis and treatment, I suggest the following available, up-to-date

Michael E. Peterson, Patricia A. Talcott (editors), "Small Animal
Toxicology, Second Edition," Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, MO. 2006

Ramesh G. Gupta (editor) "Veterinary Toxicology: Basic and Clinical
Principles," Academic Press, New York, NY. 2007.

That question is analogous to asking: "what food is safe?" It's a crap
shoot to be sure. ConsumerLab tested only three pet supplements; one was
"Halo Purely for Pets VitaGlo Daily Greens." It did not contain lead,
but it contained less than half its advertised vitamins. "21st Century
Pet Nutrition Pet Chews Plus" was "approved" since it did not contain
lead and its ingredients were as labeled.

Our veterinarian believes that one-half a Centrum Senior (human vitamin)
is safe and effective for a dog the size of a Coton de Tulear. But
without widespread government tests of our food, drug and supplement
supply, who knows?

We have been using ProPet 8-in-one Vitamin supplements without problems,
but chronic, gradual poisoning is not something we'd necessarily see. As
noted: it is a gamble. And one that no one in this country should have
to take.

NOTE: you have permission to cross post this article. If you do so,
please leave the article intact.
copyright 2009 Dr. R. J. Russell & the CTCA
IMPORTANT NOTICE: the Advertisements that frequently accompany CTCA
CotonClub e-ZINE articles are in no way affiliated with us or in any way
endorsed by or approved by the CTCA. Some of these advertisements may
even promote dubious products or even puppy mills. If dog breeder
advertisements appear, they are NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE CTCA. These
advertisements are placed here by Yahoo; the CTCA has no control in this
matter. Thank you for your understanding.

Discussions of Coton health are valuable in understanding your dog's
welfare. However e-mail correspondence IS NEVER A REPLACEMENT for
emergency consultation with a veterinarian or veterinary emergency
clinic in instances where serious symptoms - especially sudden onset


The OP Pack said...

We don't have any of those here, but that is very scary. Thanks for sharing.

Tail wags, the OP Pack

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Oh yes...

Tank woo fur sharing...


Kelsey and Smokey said...

Thank goodness for this information. I don't give them to my pups, but I know of people who do and I'll be giving them this infurmation.

Cody (and Kelsey who is sleeping and healing)

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